London’s Emerging Designers Curate a Quarantine Film List

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Buffalo ’66, 1998 Vincent Gallo
Buffalo ’66, 1998(Film still)

As part of our new film club, we asked eight of London’s emerging fashion designers to curate a selection of films to watch

This article is published as part of our #CultureIsNotCancelled campaign:

It’s probably fair to say that in the past month we have all been spending more time at home than ever before. As part of our #CultureIsNotCancelled campaign, we invited eight of London’s emerging designers to share the films that have been getting them through quarantine. From cult classics and New Wave gems, to ridiculous comedies and one “beautiful disaster” – MUBI’s description of Richard Malone’s pick, The 5,000 Fingers of Doctor T – the common thread in the films that follow is the glorious relief, and indeed necessity of, escaping into another world at this current moment in time.

Charlotte Knowles – Monster, 2003 and Buffalo ’66, 1998

“I watched Monster recently for the first time. It’s such a heart-breaking (true) story and Aileen, the protagonist, is such a complex person. In a way it reminded me of Joker in that you go through every emotion through watching it and her. I think that’s the sign of a great film: one that is able to make you laugh, cry, despise, empathise. Charlize Theron is incredible and her performance is eerily uncanny. I also watched Buffalo ’66 last night, it’s a favourite of mine! Incredible script and cinematography.”

Alexandre Arsenault of Charlotte Knowles – Tekkonkinkreet, 2006

“I watched Tekkonkinkreet last week. It’s just one of the most impressive anime films based on an amazing manga. Plus, I feel like it is a bit easier to approach for people who are not used to anime and want something to start that has incredible visuals and a gripping emotional story about two orphans. Gets a bit crazy at the end.”

Natalia Alaverdian of A.W.A.K.E. Mode – Contact, 1997

“I recently rewatched Contact by Robert Zemeckis. I’m into this movie as I generally love sci-fi and this one offers a very cool concept of travel through time and space, which eventually concludes that it’s all about perception and faith. Very Carl Sagan in a scientific sense.”

Saul Nash Atlantics, 2019

“A film which I watched and fell in love with is Atlantics by Mati Diop. The film beautifully documents its scenery and took me on a journey while being isolated indoors.”

Richard Malone – The 5,000 Fingers of Doctor T, 1953

“The only movie whose story, screenplay and lyrics were written by Dr. Seuss, and directed by Roy Rowland. The sets and musical sequences are fantastic, it’s wild and riotous and completely nuts. The plot is basically a young boy with a horrible piano teacher, who falls into a dream-like world where a piano teacher dictator is trying to assemble 500 boys to play a huge piano. His mam and the plumber both show up in the dream world to defeat the crazed Dr Terwilliker. The uniforms, set dec and wild finger dance battle are worth watching for alone.”

Molly Goddard – Zoolander, 2001

“I watched Zoolander last night, it made me laugh out loud. It is so far removed from the world we are in right now, it was a wonderful escape.”

Deanna Fanning of Kiko KostadinovThe Staggering Girl, 2019 and Ōdishon (Audition), 1999

“These two films are both very different however share the common narrative of strong female leads. Audition ends in an undeniably horrific picture of a woman who embarks on a quest for revenge for her abusive past. On the other side of the spectrum, I found scenes in The Staggering Girl beautiful and entrancing. The costumes are naturally Valentino however I really appreciated seeing their movement in the dance scenes and their colour against the Roman backdrops. Both films touch on emotions which are compared and contrasted within their respective realities.”

Laura Fanning of Kiko Kostadinov – Oldboy, 2003 and A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence, 2014

“I watched these films early on in isolation, they are similarly from non-chronological trilogies, as a viewer you can dive into their two counterparts or stick with the one film. Both are centred around themes of isolation and loneliness in completely different ways and share an element of fantasy that questions the construct of time.”